This Quote from Saint John Paul II is a Must Read for Every Father
In our world today, the role of fatherhood has become less clear. Some even question whether fathers are necessary at all. With five kids I've been wondering recently if I do enough or more accurately am I raising my children correctly.
I recently read this quote from Saint John Paul II about how his father, in part, inspired him to heed his vocation to the priesthood.
He reportedly said:
"Day after day I was able to observe the austere way in which he lived. By profession he was a soldier and, after my mother's death, his life became one of constant prayer. Sometimes I would wake up during the night and find my father on his knees, just as I would always see him kneeling in the parish church. We never spoke about a vocation to the priesthood, but his example was in a way my first seminary, a kind of domestic seminary."
I love that. A domestic seminary.
Sometimes I see my role as father as the enforcer, the protector, but I should never forget to be the example. Let's face it, kids learn so much about the world through watching their parents. What we value they learn to value. What we fail to prioritize will be downplayed in their mind. Sometimes the best thing any parent can do is to simply live out the faith.
I still remember very clearly something that happened when I was young. My mother was on line with me to buy movie tickets for Rocky II for the entire family. There was an old man standing in front of us on line and as he attempted to purchase the ticket he learned that it cost more than he had and he walked away. My mother bought him a ticket. He at first refused to accept it but he finally did and thanked her. I learned a lot that day. My mother didn't have to explain anything that day but I learned.
And with fathers, there's something about seeing the most powerful force in your life, the man who provides and protects, take to his knees to pray every day. It tells you all you need to know.